Sunday, 20 March 2011

Some random things

I am feeling a bit lacking in the old blogging inspiration department today. I have a cold and am feeling pretty miserable so I'm going to share some random facts with you which made me giggle:

1. The average Facebook user spends more than 55 minutes a day on the site. They use the Like button nine times a month and write 25 comments each month. (Blimey!)

2. The Licensing Act of 1872 (UK) states that it is illegal to operate a cow whilst drunk.

3. London Hackney Cabs must carry a bale of hay and a sack of oats (For the horses of course!). What's hillarious is that these laws have not changed for over 100 years and aparently some taxi firms have tiny bales of hay manufactured so that drivers can stay within the law!

4. Pregnant woman can relieve themselves anywhere without fear of breaking any laws! (Seriously, even in a policemans helmet if she so desired!)

5. It is illegal to ride an ugly horse in Washington.

6. According to Florida law, anyone who takes a bath must wear clothes.

7. If you yelled for 8 years, 7 months and 6 days, you would have produced enough sound energy to heat one cup of coffee.

8. An iceberg contains more heat than a lit match.

9. In ancient Rome, when a man testified in court he would swear on his testicles.

10. Laughter is a proven way to lose weight! (Bring on the comedy!)

Sunday, 13 March 2011

I've got two lots of exciting news to share....

OMG have I got something exciting (well, for me anyway) to share with you today!!

I got my Uni results this week.

and

I am officially on cloud nine!!

because

I got my distinction!! *grins*

I now officially have a post grad diploma with distinction in organisation and community development. *does happy dance*

(I still have my dissertation to do which will, hopefully, convert my diploma to a masters)

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My other exciting news is that my lovely, and very talented, friend Leonie has launched a website to showcase her utterly fabulous photographs. Planet Aspie - Looking at life from a different perspective features pics that are quirky and unusual....please pop over for a look ....you wont be dissapointed! (and prepare to get your wallets out cause I know you'll want to buy one or two!)

Sunday, 6 March 2011

I will stand up and be counted...or, erm, something

When I was a wee lassie I was never particularly interested in politics and the political process. I always voted in local and general elections, I did check out the proposals prior to voting, but you could never have described me as interested!

When Chris and I met he introduced me to people like Michael Moore and Charlie Brooker and it was through their musings on our political systems that I began to take an interest. When we moved to Thailand I really started to see how important politics is and what impact policies can have on the population. I started to find politics fasinating and Chris and I went to a number of lectures given on the topic (we even met Thailand's current Prime Minister!). When we got back to the UK that interest stayed with me but I still didn't really understand our system.

Going back to Uni was a big turning point in my interest....I guess it kind of had to be since I've been studying things like 'Social Structures and Policy', 'Issues in contemporary Health Policy' and 'Community Development' (which covered the impact policy has had on our population over the years). I have discovered that I am becoming quite a political animal....I still don't know all the in's and out's of it all, and I am not about to pretend I do, but I am now a hell of a lot more 'aware' than I ever have been before.

I am going on my first ever protest on Wednedsay. Yes folks, I feel so strongly about what our current Governmnent are proposing to do to our NHS that I am going to march through London with a whole load of others in protest. Blimey!

I've read the White Paper 'Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS' that lays out the plans and I did a ton of research on the topic for my last Uni assignment. This is an extract from my assignment (Feel free to skip it if your not interested)

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The World Trade Organisations (WTO) main aim is to see free market trade in the provision of public services. With the decline in revenue generated from manufacturing, caused by increased international competition, US and European corporations are now looking to capture a share of the GDP spent on public sector services. ‘Many governments are deregulating and privatising public-service funding and delivery’ (Price, Pollock and Shaoul, 1999: 1889) and the UK Government is one of them. They have done this by contracting out services, introducing public-private partnerships and by introducing compulsory competitive tendering. Many changes, of which the public may be generally unaware, have occurred within the health sector; there have been changes to resource allocation with money now following the individual rather than resources being allocated on area needs. Additionally corporations within the health care system have been set up along commercial lines, with Acute Trusts and PCT’s being required to break even ‘after having made a profit for their owners (the Government) equivalent to a 6% return on capital’ (Price, Pollock and Shaoul, 1999: 1891) - which means finance (and not health-care) may be the top priority; and by getting rid of new public funding for capital projects the privatisation of public funds has been achieved.

The effect of these initiatives has been devastating and has had a major impact on both funding and services; ‘the introduction of the private finance initiative to the acute hospital sector in the National Health Service has resulted in a reduction of 30% in capacity at the hospitals concerned and of 20% in clinical budgets and workforce’ (Price, Pollock and Shaoul, 1999: 1892). It is clear that the involvement of these private organisations will have an impact on the delivery of health policy locally.

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It's only going to get worse under the proposed plans so on Wednesday the 9th of March I will be pulling on my comfy shoes and joining others at 5pm at the Royal London Hospital (Opposite Whitechapel Tube Station) to march along Whitechapel road, through the city (Home of the Banks) to Barts and The London Hospital. I am going to stand up and be counted!